On the 2nd of November, three officials from the Department for Education visited Hopwood Hall College in Rochdale to hear more about the work of colleges across Greater Manchester to improve mental health support.
Five students from Hopwood Hall attended to share their stories about how summer transition programmes had made a huge difference to their college experience, three of these students also told the visitors how their involvement in the social prescribing work had led to them volunteering which was increasing their confidence and helping them develop skills for their future careers. One of the students present talked about how they were home schooled and never left their bedroom before these interventions and she is now volunteering in a hospice alongside her course with an aim to getting a career in the health sector.
In addition to this, leaders from Hopwood Hall, Bolton College and Salford City College also shared their approaches to developing Trauma Informed Colleges, joint work with the Violence Reduction Unit developing resources for colleges on sexual harassment and also non-managerial supervision for pastoral staff developed during the project alongside the BACP.
DfE colleagues will be using the information that they gathered to contribute to a ministerial briefing and are hoping that a DfE Minister will make a visit in the near future – hopefully to hear directly from the students
You can find out more about this programme in this evaluation report: Support to Continue Studying Greater Manchester Mental Health in Further Education Evaluation Final Report